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Feb 10, 2013 11:00pm PST
in the decades of the fall of saigon. between 1,500 and 2,000 a month still brave the south china sea with its risks of pirates, thirst, hunger and rough seas. it's believed 250,000 of them have died in their desperate attempt for a new life. >>> the same night ktvu brought you that report we had news of a different sort about a former boat person here in the bay area. here's elane corral in 1976. >> reporter: 35-year-old chong hit $1 million in the state lottery today. >> $1 million, a million dollars. >> reporter: chong told lottery officials he's applying for american citizenship. chon fled vietnam. they boarded a small boat for seven days. chong now works as an auto mechanic. he says he plans to use his winnings to buy a home and put the rest in the bank and hopes to have his own auto shop one day. >>> they held a reunion at camp pendelton where they had first lived. >> reporter: they returned to southern california back to where their lives began. then they called it little saigon a temporary city for those fleeing saigon. >> what you have taken from your departure here at camp pendelton
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